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Terms starting with 'S'
A NASDAQ stock symbol indicating shares of beneficial interest.

S&P Core Earnings
The Standard and Poor's revised version of the measurement of core earnings, which excludes any gains related to pension activities, net revenues from the sale of assets, impairment of goodwill charges, prior-year charge and provision reversals, and settlements related to litigation or insurance claims. Expenses related to employee stock option grants, pensions, restructuring of present operations or any merger and acquisition costs, R&D purchases, write-downs of depreciable or amortizable operating assets, and unrealized gains/losses from hedging activities are all included in the core earnings.

S&P Phenomenon
The tendency for a stock that is newly added to the S&P index to temporarily increase in price.

S-3 Filing
The most simplified registration form. It can only be used by companies that have been required to report under the '34 Act for a minimum of twelve months and have met the timely filing requirements set forth under Form S-2.

S-8 Filing
A SEC filing required for companies wishing to issue equity to their employees.

Safe Harbor
1. A legal provision to reduce or eliminate liability as long as good faith is demonstrated.

2. A form of shark repellent where a target company acquires a business that is so poorly regulated that the target itself is less attractive. In effect, this gives the target company a "safe harbor."

3. An accounting method that avoids legal or tax regulations and allows for a simpler (usually) method of determining a tax consequence than is available following the precise language of the tax code.

The storage of assets or other items of value in a protected area.

Salad Oil Scandal
One of the worst corporate scandals of its time. It occurred when Allied Crude Vegetable Oil Company discovered that banks would make loans secured by its salad oil inventory. When the ships full of salad oil would arrive in the docks, inspectors would test it and confirm that the ship was full of salad oil. However, the company didn't remind anyone that oil floats on water. They had filled salad oil tanks with water and put a few feet of oil on top, fooling everyone. The company would even transfer oil to different tanks while taking inspectors out to lunch. In 1963, the scam was busted and over $175 million worth of salad oil was missing.

Salary Freeze
The action of a company suspending salary increases for a period of time.

Salary Reduction Contribution
A cash or deferred contribution arrangement of an employer-sponsored retirement plan, under which participants can choose to set aside part of their pre-tax compensation as a contribution to the plan.

Sale and Repurchase Agreement - SRA
An open market operation implemented by the Bank of Canada designed to raise overnight interest rates and tighten the money supply.

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Sales Per Share
A ratio that computes the total revenue earned per share over a 12-month period. It is calculated by dividing total revenue earned in a fiscal year by the weighted average of shares outstanding for that fiscal year. It is also known as "revenue per share."

Sales Tax
A tax imposed on the sale price of a retail good or service.

Sales to Cash Flow Ratio
A measure of whether or not a company's sales are high in comparison to its cash flow. Calculated as:
Illustration for Sales to Cash Flow Ratio

Sallie Mae - Student Loan Marketing Association
A publicly traded stock corporation that guarantees student loans.

Salomon Brothers World Equity Index - SBWEI
An index that measures the performance of fixed-income and equity securities from domestic and international markets that consist of companies with a float of at least $100 million.

Salvage Value
The estimated value that an asset will realize upon its sale at the end of its useful life.

Same Store Sales
A statistic used in retail industry analysis. It compares sales of stores that have been open for a year or more.

Same-Day Substitution
Offsetting changes in a margin account, over the trading day, that result in no overall change in the value of the account. When a same-day substitution is made, a margin call is not generated.

Samurai Bond
A yen-denominated bond issued in Tokyo by a non-Japanese company.

A stalling tactic used by management to deter a company that is showing interest in taking them over.

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Sandwich Generation
The generation of middle-aged individuals who are pressured to support both aging parents and growing children.

Santa Claus Rally
A jump in the price of stock that often occurs the week between Christmas and New Year's. There are numerous explanations for this phenomenon, including tax considerations, happiness around Wall Street, and the fact that the pessimists are usually on vacation this week.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Saudi Riyal.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 - SOX
An act passed by U.S. Congress to protect investors from the possibility of fraudulent accounting activities by corporations.

Saturday Night Special
A slang term used to refer to a surprise takeover attempt.

A technical charting formation that indicates that a stock's price has reached its low and that the downward trend has come to a close.
Illustration for Saucer

Savings Account
A deposit account intended for funds that are expected to stay in for the short term. A savings account offers lower returns than the market rates.

Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers - SIMPLE
A retirement plan that may be established by employers, including self-employed individuals. The employer is allowed a tax deduction for contributions made to the SIMPLE. The employer makes either matching or non-elective contributions to each eligible employee's SIMPLE IRA and employees may make salary deferral contributions.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Solomon Islands Dollar.

A person trading in the equities or options and futures market who holds a position for a very short period of time, attempting to make money off of the bid-ask spread.

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The basic economic problem which arises from people having unlimited wants while there are and always will be limited resources. Because of scarcity, various economic decisions must be made to allocate resources efficiently.

Schedule 13D
A form that must be filed by an individual or organization who has acquired ownership of 5% or more of any non-exempt equity security.

Scorched Earth Policy
An anti-takeover strategy that a firm undertakes by liquidating its valuable and desired assets and assuming liabilities in an effort to make the proposed takeover unattractive to the acquiring firm.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Solomon Islands Dollar.

1. A written document that acknowledges a debt.

2. A temporary document representing a fraction of a share resulting from a split or spin-off. They may be applied to the purchase of full shares.

The hobby of collecting antique bonds, stocks, and other financial instruments based upon their esthetics and prominence in the financial world.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Sudanese Dina.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Sudanese Pound.

Seasoned Issue
An issue of securities from an established company whose existing shares have, over time, exhibited stable price movements and substantial trading volume, thereby earning a good reputation.

Membership to the NYSE.

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SEC Yield
A standard yield calculation developed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that allows for fairer comparisons of bond funds. It is based on the most recent 30-day period covered by the fund's filings with the SEC. The yield figure reflects the dividends and interest earned during the period, after the deduction of the fund's expenses. This is also referred to as the "standardized yield."

Second-to-Die Insurance
Life insurance on two people (usually married) that pays out once the last surviving spouse dies.

Secondary Market
A market in which an investor purchases an asset from another investor, rather than an issuing corporation.

Secondary Offering
A sale of securities in which one or more major stockholders in a company sell all or a large portion of their holdings. The underwriting proceeds are paid to the stockholders, rather than to the corporation.

Secondary Stock
A stock that is considered riskier than blue chips because it has a smaller market capitalization.

Section 1245
The part of the IRS code stating that depreciable property which has been sold in excess of depreciated or salvage value may qualify for favorable capital gains tax treatment.

Section 1250
The section of the IRS code pertaining to real estate that has been subjected to accelerated depreciation and then sold for a gain. Gains from this type of property should be treated as ordinary income instead of capital gains.

A particular group of securities that are in the same industry.

Sector Fund
A mutual fund whose objective is to invest in a particular industry or sector of the economy to capitalize on returns.

Sector Rotation
The action of a mutual fund or portfolio manager shifting assets from one sector of the economy to another.

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A long-term time frame, usually greater than 10 years.

Secured Debt
Debt backed or secured by collateral in order to reduce the risk associated with lending.

Secured Note
A bilateral lending agreement, the note represents a contractual obligation to lend and borrow money at a specified interest rate.

Securities & Exchange Commission - SEC
A government commission created by Congress to regulate the securities markets and protect investors. In addition to regulation and protection, it also monitors the corporate takeovers in the United States. The SEC is composed of five commissioners appointed by the President of the United States and approved by the Senate. The statutes administered by the SEC are designed to promote full public disclosure and protect the investing public against fraudulent and manipulative practices in the securities markets. Generally, most issues of securities offered in interstate commerce, through the mail, or on the Internet, must be registered with the SEC.

Securities Act of 1933
A federal piece of legislation enacted as a result of the market crash of 1929. The legislation had two main goals: (1) to ensure more transparency in financial statements so investors can make informed decisions about investments, and (2) to establish laws against misrepresentation and fraudulent activities in the securities markets.

Securities Investor Protection Corporation - SIPC
A nonprofit corporation created by an act of Congress to protect the clients of brokerage firms that are forced into bankruptcy. Membership is composed of all brokers and dealers registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, all members of securities exchanges, and most NASD members.

Securities Lending
When a brokerage lends securities owned by its clients to short sellers.

Securities Transfer Association Medallion Program - Stamp
A verification system used by many different institutions to authorize and guarantee the individual signatures applied to securities requiring transfers.

The process of creating a financial instrument by combining other financial assets and then marketing them to investors.

An instrument representing ownership (stocks), a debt agreement (bonds), or the rights to ownership (derivatives).

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Security Analyst
A financial professional who studies various industries and companies, providing research and valuation reports, and making buy, sell, and hold recommendations.

Seed Capital
The initial equity capital used to start a new venture or business. This initial amount is usually quite small because the venture is still in the idea or conceptual stage.

Segregated Fund
A type of annuity that is similar to a mutual fund, and is an insurance product and offered only by insurance companies.

The difference between the value of money and the cost to produce it.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Swedish Krona.

Self-Employment Tax
A tax imposed on self-employed people.

Self-Regulatory Organization - SRO
A non-government organization that has the power to create and enforce industry regulations and standards. The priority is to protect investors through the establishment of rules that promote ethics and equality.

1. A recommendation to sell a particular security.

2. The process of liquidating an asset in exchange for money.

Sell Plus
An order to sell a stock at a price above the current market price.

Sell Side
The retail brokers and research departments that sell securities and make recommendations for brokerage firms' customers.

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Sell To Close
A phrase used by many brokerages on the street to represent the closing of a long position in option transactions.

Sell To Open
A phrase used by many brokerages on the street to represent the opening of a short position in option transactions.

The rapid selling of securities, such as stocks, bonds and commodities.

When a broker or investor buying stocks has failed to settle the trade in a timely manner and, as a result, the broker can forcibly sell the securities on the investor's behalf.

Seller's Call
An agreement between a buyer and seller whereby a commodity purchase occurs at a specific price above a futures contract for a specific grade and quantity.

Seller's Market
A market condition characterized by a shortage of goods available for sale.

Selling Away
When a broker solicits you to purchase securities not held or offered by the brokerage firm. As a general rule, such activities are a violation of securities regulations.

Selling Hedge
A hedging strategy used in futures markets whereby the sale of futures contracts are meant to offset a long underlying commodity position.

Selling, General, & Administrative Expense - SGA
Reported on the Income Statement, it is all the costs associated with selling and the general expenses of running the business.

An event that occurs twice in a calendar year.

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Semi-Strong Form Efficiency
A class of EMH (Efficient Market Hypothesis) that implies all public information is calculated into a stock's current share price. Meaning that neither fundamental nor technical analysis can be used to achieve superior gains.

Semi-Variable Cost
A cost composed of a mixture of fixed and variable components. Costs are fixed for a set level of production or consumption, becoming variable after the level is exceeded.

Another word for chip. A semiconductor is a type of material, such as silicon, that conducts electrical charges, but not as well as metals such as copper and aluminum.

Senior Debt
A bond or other form of debt that takes priority over debt securities.  

Senior Security
A security (usually debt) that, in the event the issuer goes bankrupt, must be repaid before other creditors receive any payment.

The commonly used name for the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index - an index composed of 30 of the largest and most actively traded stocks on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Sensitivity Analysis
A technique for determining the outcome of a decision if a key prediction turns out to be wrong.

Sentiment Indicator
A general term used to describe indicators that gauge investor attitudes towards the market.

Separate Account
1. A privately managed investment account opened through a brokerage or financial advisor that uses pooled money to buy individual assets.

2. In the context of variable annuities, these are payments made to an insurance company for the purpose of investing in securities. These securities are kept separate from the insurer's general investments.

Series 11
A securities license for sales assistants who also take unsolicited securities orders for customers.

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Series 24
A securities license entitling the holder to supervise and manage branch activities. Before taking the Series 24 exam, you must have your Series 7 license.

Series 26
A securities license entitling the holder to supervise and manage sales activities for investment companies and annuity activities.

Series 27
A securities license entitling the holder to become a chief financial officer for a NASD member firm.

Series 3
A securities license entitling the holder to sell commodities or futures contracts.

Series 30
A securities license entitling the holder to become a futures branch office manager.

Series 31
A securities license entitling the holder to sell managed futures(funds).

Series 4
A securities license entitling the holder to supervise options sales personnel and compliance issues. Before taking the Series 4 exam, you must have your Series 7 license.

Series 55
A securities license entitling the holder to actively participate in equity trading.

Series 6
A securities license entitling the holder to sell mutual funds and variable annuities.

Series 63
A securities license entitling the holder to solicit orders for any type of security in a particular state. This license is required in addition to the Series 7 or Series 6.

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Series 65
A securities license required by most U.S. states for individuals that act as an investment advisor.

Series 7
A general securities registered representative license, it entitles the holder to sell all types of securities products with the exception of commodities/futures (which requires a Series 3 license).

Series 9/10
A securities license entitling the holder to supervise branch activities. Before taking the Series 9/10 exam, you must have your Series 7 license.

Series A - Preferred Stock
The first round of stock offered in the early stages of a startup to the venture capitalist. This stock is convertible into common stock if the company goes public or is sold.

Series EE Bond
A non-marketable, interest-bearing U.S. government savings bond issued at a discount from par.

Series HH Bond
A non-marketable, interest-bearing U.S. government savings bond issued at par and acquired only by exchanging Series EE bonds.

Series I Bond
A non-marketable, interest-bearing U.S. government savings bond that is a combination of two separate rates:

Settlement Date
1. The date by which an executed security trade must be settled. That is, the date by which a buyer must pay for the securities delivered by the seller.

2. The payment date of benefits from a life insurance policy.

Settlement Price
The average price at which a contract trades, calculated at both the open and close of each trading day.

Settlement Risk
The default risk relating to creating a foreign exchange payment to a counter party before the counter payment is received.

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Settling Price
The price used daily by clearing houses to clear all trades and settle accounts between clearing members.

 A clause in a contract that allows for the terms of the contract to be independent of one another. Clauses like this could be in any type of contract, such as options and futures.

Severance Pay
Compensation that an employer gives to someone who is about to lose their job.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Singapore Dollar.

Shadow Open Market Committee - SOMC
A committee created by two university professors, from Rochester and Carnegie Mellon, in the early 1970's. The committees purpose is to evaluate the policy and actions of the FOMC.

Shadow Pricing
The arbitrary assignment of dollar values to non-marketed goods.

Shadow Rating
1. The name given to a bond rating performed on an issuing party by a credited institution, but without any public announcement of the results.

2. A rating given by S&P to Israel Bonds, which are not permitted to be traded on the secondary market.

A situation in which many investors exit their positions, often at a loss, because of uncertainty or recent news circulating around a particular security or industry.

Share Capital
The portion of a corporation's equity obtained from issuing shares in return for cash or other considerations.

Share Premium Account
Usually found on the balance sheet, this is the account to which the amount of money paid (or promised to be paid) by a shareholder for a share is credited to, only if the shareholder paid more than the cost of the share.

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Share Purchase Right
A type of security that gives the holder the option, but not the obligation, to purchase a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined price, similar to a stock option or warrant. These rights are typically distributed to existing shareholders, who have the ability to trade these rights on an exchange.

Share Repurchase
A company's plan to buy back its own shares from the marketplace, reducing the number of outstanding shares. Typically, this is an indication that the company's management thinks the shares are undervalued.

Any person, company, or other institution that owns at least 1 share in a company. A shareholder may also be referred to as a stockholder.

Shareholder Value Added - SVA
A value-based performance measure of a company's worth to shareholders. The basic calculation is net operating profit after tax (NOPAT) minus the cost of capital from the issuance of debt and equity, based on the company's weighted average cost of capital (WACC).

Shareholder Value Transfer - SVT
A measurement of the amount of shareholders' equity flowing out of a company to its executives through exercised stock options.

Shareholders' Equity
A firms total assets minus its total liabilities, or equivalently, share capital plus retained earnings minus treasury shares. It is the amount of the company that is financed through common and preferred shares.

Certificates representing ownership in a corporation.

Shark Repellent
Any number of measures taken by a corporation to discourage an unwanted takeover attempt.

Shark Watcher
A firm specializing in the early detection of takeovers. The firm's primary business is usually the solicitation of proxies for client corporations.

Sharpe Ratio
A ratio developed by Bill Sharpe to measure risk-adjusted performance. It is calculated by subtracting the risk free rate from the rate of return for a portfolio and dividing the result by the standard deviation of the portfolio returns.
Illustration for Sharpe Ratio

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Shelf Offering
An SEC provision allowing an issuer to register a new issue security without selling the entire issue at once.

Shelf Registration
An term used for the SEC rule 415, which allows a corporation the ability to comply with registration requirements up to 2 years before doing a public offering. The corporation must still file the required annual and quarterly reports to the SEC.

Shell Corporation
A corporation without active business operations or significant assets.

Shingle Theory
A suitability doctrine first introduced by the SEC in the 30's. The idea is that a broker who hangs out a shingle will represent his/her customers fairly and responsibly when making suggestions regarding securities.

Shipping Certificate
An instrument used by futures exchanges as a negotiable commitment by an approved delivery facility to transfer the underlying commodity to the holder of the certificate under the prescribed terms.

Shock Absorber
A temporary restriction placed on the trading of index futures because of substantial intraday decreases in the underlying indexes.

Shooting Star
A type of candlestick formation that results when a security's price, at some point during the day, advances well above the opening price but closes lower than the opening price.
Illustration for Shooting Star

The general term used to describe the selling of a borrowed security, commodity, or currency, with the expectation that the asset will fall in price.

Short Covering
The purchase of shares previously sold short in order to close the open position.

Short Form Prospectus Distribution System - SFPDS
A system that allows firms making an issue to produce a short form prospectus. The short form prospectus must contain any material changes not previously reported.

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Short Interest
The total number of shares of a security that have been sold short by customers and securities firms.

Short Interest Ratio
A sentiment indicator that is derived by dividing the short interest by the average daily volume for a stock.

Short Interest Theory
The theory that a large short interest is the predecessor of a rise in the price of a stock.

Short Run
A period of time in which the quantity of some inputs cannot be increased beyond the fixed amount that is available.

Short Sale
A market transaction in which an investor sells borrowed securities in anticipation of a price decline.

Short Sale Rule
A SEC rule requiring short sales to be made only on a plus tick or zero plus tick.

Short Sell Against the Box
The act of short selling securities that you already own. This results in a neutral position where your gains in a stock are equal to the losses.

Short Selling
The selling of a security that the seller does not own, or any sale that is completed by the delivery of a security borrowed by the seller. Short sellers assume that they will be able to buy the stock at a lower amount than the price at which they sold short.

Short Squeeze
A situation in which a lack of supply and an excess demand for a traded stock forces the price upward.

Short Term
1. In general, holding an asset for short period of time.

2. In accounting, an asset expected to be converted into cash in the next year, or a liability coming due in the next year. Also known as current assets and liabilities.

3. For investing, a security that matures in one year or less.

4. For taxes, a holding period of less that one year.

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Short the Basis
A futures strategy involving the purchase of a futures position to hedge against a future commitment to deliver the underlying commodity.

The amount by which the capital required to fulfill a financial obligation exceeds available capital.

Shotgun Clause
A buy-sell provision used by related parties in a business venture. Investors within the partnership have the right to offer their portion to the partner at a specified price. If the partner does not buy the offered interest at this price, they must then sell their own interest to the offering party at the same specified price.

Shout Option
An exotic option that allows the holder to lock in a defined profit while maintaining the right to continue participating in gains without a loss of locked in monies.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the St. Helana Pound.

The amount by which inventory on hand is shorter than the amount of inventory recorded.

Sideways Market
A situation in which stock price changes little over a period of time.

Sight Letter of Credit
A letter of credit that is payable once it is presented along with the necessary documents.

Signaling Approach
The idea that insiders have information not available to the market. Moves made by insiders can signal information to outsiders and change the stock price.

Significant Order
An order to buy or sell a security that, due to its abnormally large size, has the potential to have a significant effect on a security's price.

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Silent Partner
An investor who does not have any management responsibilities but provides capital and shares liability for any losses experienced by the entity.

Silicon Valley
Nickname for the region in North California (around San Jose) that contains a huge concentration of computer and Internet companies.

Slang describing young dot-com entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s who found themselves suddenly rich due to stock options from their Silicon Valley Internet companies.

An element commonly used in jewelry, coins, electronics, and photography. Silver has the highest electrical conductivity of any metal.

Silver Parachute
A form of severance that is paid to employees of a company should the company be taken over by another.

Simple Moving Average - SMA
A simple, or arithmetic, moving average is calculated by adding the closing price of the security for a number of time periods and then dividing this total by the number of time periods.

Simplified Employee Pension - SEP
A type of retirement plan that an employer can establish, including self-employed individuals. The employer is allowed a tax deduction for contributions made to the SEP Plan. The employer makes contributions to each eligible employee's SEP IRA on a discretionary basis.

Sinful Stock
Stock from companies that are associated with (or are directly involved in) activities considered unethical or immoral.

The filing status used by a taxpayer who is unmarried and does not qualify for any other filing status.

Single Stock Future - SSF
A future contract with an underlying of one particular stock, usually in batches of 100. No transmission of share rights or dividends occur.

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A bond whose payments are provided by the issuer's sinking fund.

Sinking Fund
A means of repaying funds advanced through a bond issue. The issuer makes periodic payments to a trustee, who retires part of the issue by purchasing the bonds in the open market.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Slovenian Tolar.

A statistical term used to describe a situation's asymmetry in relation to a normal distribution.

Skin in the Game
A term coined by renowned investor Warren Buffett to refer to the situation in which high-ranking insiders use their own money to buy stock in the company they are running.

Skirt Length Theory
The idea that skirt lengths are a predictor of the stock market direction. If skirts are short, it means the markets are going up, whereas longer skirts mean the markets are heading down.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Slovak Koruna.

Sleeping Beauty
A company that is prime for takeover, but has not been approached by an acquirer.

The difference between estimated transaction costs and the amount actually paid.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Sierra Leone Leone.

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Slush Fund
A fund (or something similar) that does not have a designated purpose. These types of funds are often illegal.

Small Firm Effect
The belief that smaller firms, or those companies with a small market capitalization outperform larger companies. This market anomaly is a factor used to explain superior returns in the Three Factor Model, created by Gene Fama and Kenneth French.

Small Order Execution System - SOES
A computer network that automatically executes trades in NASDAQ market securities and some NASDAQ SmallCap securities. This allows individual investors to execute trades in fast moving markets.

Small Trader
An options or futures investor holding or controlling a single position below the required reporting levels.

Refers to stocks with a relatively small market capitalization. The definition of small-cap can vary among brokerages, but generally a company between $300 million to $2 billion in market cap is considered a small cap.

Smoking Gun
Something that serves as indisputable evidence or proof, especially of a crime.

Slang for somebody who frequently launders money.

Soccer Mom Indicator
A theory stating that listening to what parents are talking about at their children's soccer game (or some other similar event) is one of the best ways to find out how the economy or investing environment 'was' doing.

Social Capital
Refers to the connection among individuals and the relationships that can be economically valuable. Social networks that include people who trust and assist each other can be a powerful asset.

Social Responsibility
The principle that companies should contribute to the welfare of society and not be solely devoted to maximizing profits.

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Social Security
A U.S. federal benefits program developed in 1935. The program includes retirement benefits, disability income, veteran's pension, public housing, and even the food stamp program.

Social Security Number - SSN
A federal taxpayer identification number for Americans. A SSN number is required to get a job and claim taxes or other tax benefits.

Socially Responsible Investment - SRI
Investments or funds containing stock in companies whose activities are considered ethical.

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications - SWIFT
An industry owned co-operative supplying secure messaging services and interface software to financial institutions.

SOES Bandits
A slang term for traders who make rapid buy and sell orders, using the SOES system, in order to make a profit from small price changes.

Soft Call Provision
A feature added to convertible fixed-income and debt securities. The provision dictates that a premium will be paid by the issuer if early redemption occurs.

Soft Commodity
A commodity such as coffee, cocoa, sugar and fruit. This term generally refers to commodities that are grown, rather than mined.

Soft Currency
Another name for "weak currency." There is very little demand for this type of currency and values often fluctuate.

Soft Dollars
A means of paying brokerage firms for their services through commission revenue, as opposed to normal payments.

Soft Landing
A term used to describe a rate of economic growth high enough to avoid recession, but slow enough to avoid high inflation.

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Soft Loan
1. A loan with a below-market rate of interest.

2. Loans made by multinational development banks and the World Bank to developing countries. Typically, soft loans have extended grace periods in which only interest or service charges are due, in addition to offering longer amortization schedules and lower interest rates than conventional bank loans.

Soft Metrics
A slang term for intangible indicators used to value a start-up company.

Soft Money
1. The "one-time" funding from governments and organizations for a project or special purpose.

2. Paper currency, as opposed to gold, silver, or some other coined metal.

Sold-Out Market
A market for a specific futures contract that, due to a substantial liquidation of holdings by investors, has limited offerings.

Sole Proprietorship
A business organization that is unincorporated and has only one owner.

The ability of a corporation to meet both its long-term fixed expenses and to have adequate money for long-term expansion and growth.

Solvency Ratio
One of many ratios used to gauge a company's ability to meet long-term obligations.

Sortino Ratio
Similar to the "Sharpe Ratio," except it uses downside deviation for the denominator, whereas Sharpe uses standard deviation.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Somali Shilling.

Sour Crude
The name given to barrels of crude oil that do not meet certain content requirements, such as low levels of sulfur and hydrogen.

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Sovereign Risk
The risk that a foreign government will default on a loan because of a change in national policy.

SPAN Margin
Short for Standardized Portfolio Analysis of Risk (SPAN). This is a leading margin system, it has been adopted by most options and futures exchanges around the world. SPAN is based on a sophisticated set of algorithms that determine margin according to a global (total portfolio) assessment of the one-day risk for a trader's account.

Spark Spread
The difference between the market price of electricity and its cost of production.

Special Drawing Rights - SDR
An international reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)in 1970, it operates as a supplement to existing reserve assets.

Special Memorandum Account - SMA
A special account, similar to a line of credit, that is intended to preserve a client's buying power. It is granted when a client's margin account of securities generates excess equity greater than 50% of its market value.

Special Needs Child
Children who have been determined to require special attention and specific necessities that other children do not. The state decides upon this status and offers benefits that follow a special needs child because it is believed the child will not be adopted if assistance is not provided.

Special Purchase and Resale Agreement - SPRA
An open market operation implemented by the Bank of Canada designed to lower overnight interest rates and increase the money supply.

Special Purpose Vehicle/Entity - SPV/SPE
1. Also referred to as a "bankruptcy-remote entity" whose operations are limited to the acquisition and financing of specific assets. The SPV is usually a subsidiary company with an asset/liability structure and legal status that makes its obligations secure even if the parent company goes bankrupt.

2. A subsidiary corporation designed to serve as a counterparty for swaps and other credit sensitive derivative instruments. Also called a "derivatives product company."

A person on the trading floor of certain exchanges who holds an inventory of particular stocks. The specialist is responsible for managing limit trades, but does not make information on outstanding limit orders available to other traders.

Specialist Short Sale Ratio
A ratio comparing the number of short sales made by specialists versus the total number of short sales transacted on the market.

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Specific Risk
Risk that affects a very small number of assets. This is sometimes referred to as "unsystematic risk."

The process of selecting investments with higher risk in order to profit from an anticipated price movement.

Speculation Index
A ratio comparing the volume of trades upon the American Stock Exchange and the NYSE.

Speculative Bubble
A temporary market condition created through excessive buying, and an unfounded run-up in prices occurs.

A person who trades derivatives, commodities, bonds, or equities with a higher than average risk, in return for a higher than average profit potential. Speculators anticipate large price movements in either direction.

Spiders - SPDR
A nickname for the Standard & Poor's Depository Receipts, an exchange traded fund (ETF) that represents ownership in the S&P 500 Index. The ticker symbol is SPY.

The practice of brokerage houses exchanging IPO shares with top executives for reciprocating business from their companies.

A new, independent company created through selling or distributing new shares for an existing part of another company.

Split Adjusted
A stock price that takes into consideration the effect of a split, allowing an accurate comparison between a company's historical price to its current price.

Split Close
A market closing with price discrepancies within a series of final daily futures-contract transactions.

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Exchanging the stock of a subsidiary for shares in a parent company.

Exchanging the stock of two or more subsidiary companies for all of the parent company's stock, followed by the liquidation of the parent company.

1. In the context of mutuals, an underwriting company that offers shares in its mutual funds.

2. In the context of stocks, an influential investor who creates demand for a security because of their positive outlook on it.

Spot Commodity
A commodity traded on the spot market. That is, with the expectation of actual delivery, as opposed to a commodity future that is usually not delivered.

Spot Delivery Month
Used in commodity trading, this is the nearest of the months currently being traded in which a commodity could be delivered.

Spot Market
1. A commodities market in which goods are sold for cash and delivered immediately.

2. A futures transaction which will expire in 1 month or less.

Spot Price
The current price at which a particular commodity can be bought or sold at a specified time and place.

Spot Secondary
A secondary distribution made by a company without any additional filings to the SEC.

Spot Trade
The purchase and sale of a foreign currency or commodity for immediate delivery.

Spousal IRA
A traditional or Roth IRA established and funded by an individual for his/her spouse.

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1. The difference between the bid and the ask prices of a security or asset.

2. An options position established by purchasing one option and selling another option of the same class, but of a different series.

An agreement that fixes the spread between the forward price of an interest rate swap and its underlying government bond yield.

Squawk Box
A speaker and intercom system that is used on trading desks. A squawk box allows direct communication between a trader and a broker. This allows the users to be in contact with a broker on a continuous basis, and keep up with current market quotes.

1. In financial terms, a period of time when borrowing is difficult.

2. In general business terms, times when increasing costs cannot be passed onto consumers. The decrease in profits is said to be caused by a "squeeze" on profit margins.

A line that is used to confuse people on a chart. Squigglies can have various names. but if you do not understand what a TA person is saying, just say "the squiggly says it goes up" or, the squiggly says it goes down

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Suriname Guilder.

This also has two definitions
Short-term and Swing Trade both are similar in result. A swingtrade is generally 5 days or so and that could also be a Short term trade

A slang term short-term speculator.

Slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment accompanied by a rise in prices (inflation).

Stagger System
A method of electing the Board of Directors in which only part of the board comes up for re-election in any one year.

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A period of little or no growth in the economy. Economic growth of less than 2-3% is considered stagnation. Sometimes used to describe low trading volume or inactive trading in securities.

One who has a share or an interest in an enterprise.

Stalking Horse Bid
A strategy used by bankrupt companies whereby they obtain an initial bid on their assets from an interested buyer of their choosing.

A description of companies that have large capitalizations and provide investors with slow but steady and dependable growth prospects.

Stamp Duty
An ad-valorem or flat rate charged upon certain documents.

Standard and Poor's - S&P
A financial services company that rates stocks and corporate and municipal bonds according to risk profiles.

Standard and Poor's 500 Index - S&P 500
An index consisting of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation. It is a market-value weighted index, with each stock's weight in the index proportionate to its market value.

Standard Deviation
1. A measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean. The more spread apart the data is, the higher the deviation.

2. In finance, standard deviation is applied to the annual rate of return of an investment to measure the investment's volatility (risk).

Standard Industrial Classification - SIC Code
A standard series of 4-digit codes that are used to categorize business activities.

Standard Poor's Underlying Rating - SPURs
A measurement tool prepared by Standard and Poor's for a more in depth rating of Municipal Bonds.

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Standby Letter of Credit
A stipulation that states a letter of credit will be called back if the payer defaults.

Standby Underwriting
An agreement whereby an investment bank (the underwriter) will purchase the portion of a new securities issue that remains after a public offering.

One of the four categories (quadrants) of the BCG growth-share matrix that represents the division within a company that has a large market share in a rapidly expanding industry.

Stated Annual Interest Rate
The annual rate of interest that does not account for compounding occurring within the year.

Stated Value
A value given to a corporation's stock that, for accounting purposes, is assigned instead of par value. Stated value has no relation to market price.

Statistical Arbitrage
A profit situation arising from pricing inefficiencies between securities. Investors identify the arbitrage situation through mathematical modeling techniques.

Statutory Accounting Principles - SAP
A set of accounting requirements prescribed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for the preparation of an insuring firm's financial statements.

Statutory Voting
The procedure of voting for a company's directors where each shareholder is entitled to one vote per share. This is sometimes known as straight voting.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Sao Tome/Principe Dobra.

Stem The Tide
An attempt to stop a prevailing trend. Sometimes referred to as "stop the bleeding."

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Step-out Trading
When a brokerage firm executes an order, but gives other firms credit and some of the commission for the trade.

Step-up Bond
A bond that pays an initial coupon rate for the first period, and then a higher coupon rate for the following periods.

Sterile Investment
An investment that does not provide dividends or interest to the investor. In a sterile investment, the return is generated completely by capital gains.

When a central bank or federal reserve insulates itself from the foreign exchange market to counteract the effects of a changing monetary base.

Sterilized Intervention
A method of sterilization carried out by a country's Federal Reserve or Central bank. It involves the simultaneous purchase of treasury or agency securities in the open market for the exact same amounts.

Sterling Ratio
A ratio used mainly in the context of hedge funds. This is a is a risk-reward measure that determines the advisors that have the highest returns with the least amount of volatility. This formula uses the average for risk (drawdown) and return over the past three years. The formula is as follows:
Illustration for Sterling Ratio

Sticky Deal
An issue of new securities that may present a selling challenge to an underwriter, usually due to bad news about the issuing company or economy.

STIR Futures & Options
An acronym standing for "short-term interest rate" options or futures contract.

A short-term trading oscillator that compares the amount of volume flowing into advancing and declining stocks.

Stochastic Oscillator
A technical indicator that compares where a security's price closed relative to its price range over a given time period.

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A type of security that signifies ownership in a corporation and represents a claim on part of the corporation's assets and earnings. There are two main types of stock: common and preferred. Common stock usually entitles the owner the right to vote at shareholder meetings and to receive dividends that the company has declared. Preferred stock generally does not have voting rights, but has a higher claim on assets and earnings than the common shares. For example, owners of preferred stock receive dividends before common shareholders and have priority in the event a company goes bankrupt and is liquidated. Also known as shares, or equity.

Stock Appreciation Right - SAR
A right, granted to an employee, to receive a bonus equal to the appreciation in the value of the company's stock for a predetermined number of shares over a specified period.

Stock Broker
1. An agent that charges a fee or commission for executing buy and sell orders submitted by an investor.

2. The firm that acts as an agent for a customer, charging the customer a commission for its services.

Stock Compensation
The payment of stock in lieu of cash for services provided.

Stock Dividend
A dividend payment made in the form of additional shares, rather than a cash payout.

Stock Exchange Daily Official List - SEDOL
An identification number assigned to all foreign stocks by the International Stock Exchange of London.

Stock Option
A privilege, sold by one party to another, that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy (call) or sell (put) a stock at an agreed-upon price during a certain period of time or on a specific date.

Stock Power
A power of attorney that allows the current owner of a registered security to transfer ownership to another party.

Stock Quote
A list of prices (generally bid, ask, and last) for a stock at a particular point during the trading day. Stocks used to be quoted in fractions, but now most all exchanges use decimals.

Stock Record
A system that helps brokerage firms keep track of the position and physical location of the securities they are holding.

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Stock Savings Plan
In Canada, a plan wherein some provinces will provide a tax credit for provincial income taxes to residents who spend their income on certain investments.

Stock Screener
A tool investors can use to filter stocks given certain criteria of their choice.

Stock Split
The division of a company's existing stock into more shares. In a 2-for-1 split, each stockholder would receive an additional share for each share formerly held.

Stock Symbol
A unique symbol assigned to a security. NYSE and AMEX listed stocks have symbols of three characters or less. NASDAQ-listed securities have four or five characters. If a fifth letter appears, it identifies the security as other than a single issue of common stock. Stock symbols are also known as tickers or ticker symbols.

Stock Watcher
A computer program used by the NYSE that continuously monitors all trading activity in order to detect any illegal trades.

Stockholder's Equity
The portion of the balance sheet that includes capital received from investors in exchange for stock (paid-in capital), donated capital, and retained earnings. This is equal to total assets minus liabilities, preferred stock, and intangible assets.

Stop Order
An order to sell a stock when its price falls to a particular point, thus limiting an investor's loss (or locking in a profit). Also referred to as a stop-loss order.

Stop Payment
When a bank account holder instructs his or her financial institution not to honor payment.

Stop-limit Order
An order placed with a broker to buy or sell at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached or passed.

Stop-loss Order
An order placed with a broker to sell a security when it reaches a certain price. It is designed to limit an investor's loss on a security position. This is sometimes called a "stop market order."

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Stopped Order
A market order on the NYSE that is stopped from being executed by the specialist because of a request from a member firm to obtain a better price than that available. According to NYSE rules, once the order is stopped, it must be identified and the specialist must guarantee the market price at the time of the stop should they be unsuccessful in obtaining a better price.

Stopped Out
A situation where a stock price decreases and, consequently, an investor's stop order is executed.

Story Stock
A stock whose value is a reflection of expected future potential (or favorable press coverage) rather than its assets and income.

An options strategy with which the investor holds a position in both a call and put with the same strike price and expiration date.
Illustration for Straddle

Straight Line Basis
A method of computing amortization (depreciation) by dividing the difference between an asset's cost and its expected salvage value by the number of years it is expected to be used.

Straight Through Processing - STP
An initiative by many financial companies to streamline transactions by maintaining contact throughout processing.

An options strategy where the investor holds a position in both a call and put with different strike prices.

An options strategy created by being long in one put and two call options, all with the exact same strike price.

Strategic Alliance
An arrangement between two companies who have decided to share resources in a specific project.

Strategic Asset Allocation
A portfolio strategy that involves periodically re-balancing the portfolio in order to maintain a long-term goal for asset allocation.

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Street Book
A record of futures-contract transactions that is maintained daily by futures commission merchants and clearing houses.

Street Expectation
The average earnings estimates made by brokers and securities analysts. Also known as the "market consensus" or "earnings expectations."

Street Name
When securities are held in the name of a broker or other nominee, as opposed to holding them in the customer's name.

Stress Testing
A simulation technique used on asset and liability portfolios to determine their reactions to different financial situations.

Strike Price
The stated price per share for which underlying stock may be purchased (for a call) or sold (for a put) by the option holder upon exercise of the option contract.

1. For bonds, the process of removing coupons from a bond and then selling the separate parts as a zero coupon bond and interest paying coupons. Also known as a stripped bond or zero coupon bond.

2. In options, a strategy created by being long in one call and two put options, all with the exact same strike price.

Strip Bond
A bond where both the principal and regular coupon payments--which have been removed--are sold separately. Also known as a "zero-coupon bond."

Stripped Yield
The implied sovereign yield of a bond, or the theoretical yield of the non-collateralized portion of the bond.

Strong Form Efficiency
The strongest version of market efficiency. It states all information in a market, whether public or private, is accounted for in a stock price. Not even insider information could give an investor the advantage.

Strong Hands
The intention of futures-contract holders to receive delivery of the underlying commodity.

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Structural Unemployment
Unemployment resulting from changes in the basic composition of the economy. These changes simultaneously open new positions for trained workers.

Structured Finance
A service offered by many large financial institutions for companies with very unique financing needs. These financing needs usually don't match conventional financial products such as a loan. Structured finance generally involves highly complex financial transactions.

Structured Note
1. A synthetic medium-term debt obligation with embedded components and characteristics that adjust the risk/return profile of the security.

2. An instrument whose value is determined by the price movement of the asset underlying the note. It allows investors to realize a profit from favorable price movements.

Stock in a company that is overleveraged as a result of recapitalization.

Student Loan Interest Deduction
An adjustment to an individual's income for any interest paid on "higher education loans" during the tax year.

The investment approach an investment manager takes to reach his/her objectives.

Style Drift
The tendency of a broker or investment manager with a particular investment style to alter his/her style over time.

Subchapter S (S Corporation)
A corporation that meets the requirements for, and has made a proper election to be taxed under, Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code. This gives the corporation the option of being taxed as if it were a partnership (income is taxed to the shareholders, rather than to the corporation itself).

A group of securities that is part of an index but is also tracked separately as a smaller, separate index.

Subordinated Debt
A loan (or security) that ranks below other loans (or securities) with regard to claims on assets or earnings.

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Subprime Loan
A loan that is offered at a rate above prime to individuals who do not qualify for prime rate loans.

Subscription Agreement
An application to join a limited partnership, it is submitted to the general partner by the interested investor.

Subsequent Offering
An offering of additional shares after a company has had an initial public offering (IPO).

A company owned by another company that controls more than 50% of its voting stock.

A product or service that partly satisfies the need of a consumer that another product or service fulfills.

Substitution Swap
A swap where a currently held fixed-income security is traded for a higher yielding bond with similar features.

Suicide Pill
A defensive strategy by which a target company engages in an activity that might actually ruin the company rather than prevent the hostile takeover. Also known as the "Jonestown Defense."

Sum Certain
A legal term used to describe the predetermined settlement price for a contract or negotiable instrument.

Sum of Parts Valuation
Valuing a company by what its divisions could be worth if they were broken up and spun-off or acquired by another company.

Sundry Income
External income that results from factors outside of a firm's control.

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Sunk Cost
A cost that has been incurred and cannot be reversed. Also referred to as "stranded cost."

Sunrise Industry
Slang for a new, emerging growth industry that is expected to be the strongest sector in the future.

Sunshine Laws
Federal and state regulations that require meetings on public policy to be publicized.

Sunshine Trade
A high-volume transaction prematurely revealed to the market before the order is even entered.

Super Bowl Indicator
An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in the stock market for the coming year, and that a win from a team from the old NFL (NFC division) means the stock market will be up for the year.

Super NOW Account
An account originally created in 1982 that offers a higher interest rate than a NOW account but lower interest than a money market account.

Super Sinker
A bond with long-term coupons, but a short-term maturity. Super sinkers are usually home financing bonds where, if homeowners prepay their mortgages, bond holders receive their principal back right away. In other words, mortgage prepayments are used to retire a specified maturity.

Super Upside Note - SUN
An investment instrument with which an investor holds a long position in a stock, and leverages his or her position by purchasing additional shares of the same equity with the present value of expected future dividends.

An organizational pension program created by companies for the benefit of their employees.

A corporate amendment in a company's charter requiring a large majority (anywhere from 67%-90%) of shareholders to approve important changes, such as a merger.

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A fully integrated order entry and execution system used by NASDAQ for all securities' transactions.

Supernormal Growth Stock
A stock that experiences a continued period of growth exceeding that of the economy. Generally, the duration is over a year in length.

The total amount of a good or service available for purchase by consumers.

Supply Chain
The network created amongst different companies producing, handling, and/or distributing a specific product.

Supply Chain Management - SCM
The management and coordination of a product's supply chain for the purpose of increasing efficiency and profitability.

Supply Management
Definition from the Institute for Supply Management:

Supply-Side Theory
An economic theory holding that bolstering an economy's ability to supply more goods is the most effective way to stimulate economic growth.

The price a stock or market trades at, but does not go lower than, over a certain period of time. Often referred to as the support level.
Illustration for Support

An added charge, cost, or tax.

When a guarantor or a sum of money is held as a guarantee for a loan in good faith.

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A situation in which assets exceed liabilities, income exceeds expenditures, exports exceed imports, or profits exceed losses.

A form of income tax that is only intended to be a temporary increase in taxes paid.

Survivorship Bias
Specifically in the context of mutual funds, the tendency for poor performers to drop out while strong performers continue to exist. This results in an overestimation of past returns.

Sushi Bond
A Eurobond that is issued by a Japanese issuer and does not count against a Japanese institution's limits on the holdings of foreign securities.

Sushi Roll
A candlestick pattern made of ten bars where the first five (inside bars) are confined within a narrow range of highs and lows and the second five (outside bars) engulf the first with both a higher high and lower low.

Suspense Account
An account that is used to store short-term funds or securities until a permanent decision is made about their allocation.

Sustainable Growth Rate - SGR
The maximum growth rate that a firm can sustain without having to increase financial leverage.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the El Salvador Colon.

Traditionally, the exchange of one security for another to change the maturity (bonds), quality of issues (stocks or bonds), or because investment objectives have changed. Recently, swaps have grown to include currency swaps and interest rates swaps.

Swap Curve
The name given to the swap's equivalent of a yield curve. The swap curve identifies the relationship between swap rates at varying maturities.

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Swap Rate
The rate of the fixed portion of a swap as determined by its particular market. This is the rate at which the swap will occur for one of the parties entering into the agreement.

Swap Spread
1. The difference between the negotiated and fixed rate of a swap. The spread is determined by characteristics of market supply and creditor worthiness.

2. The difference between the swap rate and the lending rate offered through other investment vehicles with comparable characteristics.

Swaption (Swap Option)
The option to enter into an interest rate swap. In exchange for an option premium, the buyer gains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into a specified swap agreement with the issuer on a specified future date.

Sweat Equity
The equity that is created in a company or some other asset as a direct result of hard work by the owner(s).

Sweep Account
A bank account that automatically transfers funds above (or below) a certain level to a higher-interest earning account at the close of each business day.

Sweet Crude
The name given to barrels of crude oil that meet certain content requirements, such as low levels of sulfur and hydrogen.

A special feature added to a debt obligation or preferred stock to promote marketability.

Sweetheart Deal
A merger or company sale where one company involved in the deal gives the other very attractive terms and conditions.

Swing Trading
A style of trading that attempts to capture gains in a stock within one to four days.

Swingline Loan
A loan that grants institutions access to large amounts of cash in order to cover possible shortfalls from other debt commitments.

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A futures trading strategy involving the simultaneous offset of one contract together with entry into another position that has nearly identical details but a longer expiration.

1. In mutual funds, the process of transferring an investment from one fund to another.

2. In securities, the process of liquidating a position in exchange for other securities with better prospects for growth, yields or capital gains.

A group of bankers, insurers, etcetera, who work together on a large project.

Syndicate Bid
A bid that can be entered in the NASDAQ System to stabilize the price of a NASDAQ security prior to the date of a secondary offering.

Syndicated Loan
A very large loan in which a group of banks work together to provide funds for one borrower. There is usually one lead bank that takes a small percentage of the loan and syndicates the rest to other banks.

The idea that the value and performance of two companies combined will be greater than the sum of the separate individual parts.

A financial instrument that is created artificially by simulating another instrument with the combined features of a collection of other assets.

Synthetic Collateralized Debt Obligation
An artificial collateralized debt obligation that is backed by a pool of credit derivatives.

Synthetic Futures Contract
A position created by combining call and put options for the purpose of mimicking the payout schedule and characteristics of a futures contract.

Synthetic Lease
An operating lease that is structured in a way so that it is not recorded as a liability on the balance sheet. Instead, it is considered to be an expense on the income statement.

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Synthetic Put
An investment strategy of short selling a security and entering a long position on its call.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Syrian Pound.

System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval - SEDAR
The electronic filing system for the disclosure of documents of public companies and mutual funds across Canada.

Systematic Risk
The risk inherent to the entire market or entire market segment. Also known as "un-diversifiable risk" or "market risk."

Systematic Withdrawal Plan - SWP
A service offered by a mutual fund that provides a payout to the shareholder at predetermined intervals.

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Swaziland Lilangeni.

Market Data
Uranium Prices
U308 is Priced Weekly.
(September 1, 2014)
$32.00 $1.00
Rare Earth Prices

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